Monday, November 29, 2021

iOS 12.1: make new phone settings your own

With millions downloading the latest version of Apple’s operating system, here are some things to tweak

Apple’s iOS 12.1 is now available for download to all iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. On the left side of the screen is the iPhone’s clock as seen in the Apple Store. On the right, it’s the “Settings” tab, which is your new default setting. This is your place to manage your privacy, and you can change settings in a whole new way. Here’s how.

1. Do not track me

Yes, you have the option to turn off this setting for all apps in the future. But many people don’t like it, and it’s less frequent, with fewer requests, in iOS 12.

In iOS 12.1, if you use the setting, you should be OK. Aspects of tracking will return to normal in the future, but only after a period of time (usually 24 hours). Sometimes the feature can send telemetry, about the application and the user. The exception is Face ID, which only shares your face ID password with the Apple systems it needs to access and cannot ask about other types of face data.

2. Turn off notifications

This one is important for our device notification podcasts. If you are in the same device as someone else with the same update, the update may be sent to your device without you even realizing it. A quick note for parents: we cannot accept any devices on the podcast sign-in screen.

3. Move your fingerprint away from the lock screen

Phones built on newer chips use something called advanced biometric sensing. It’s great for Face ID, but also for different fingerprint sensors. Again, the settings on your lock screen are under settings.

4. Create new fingerprints

An update to iOS does away with the PIN code, which was great for us and bad for Apple. Instead, you can create a four-digit password if you so choose.

5. Turn off location services

If you don’t want Apple to use your location for the Phone app (perhaps for WhatsApp or Apple News), turn off location services by double-clicking the Home button. Now, when you are connected to wifi, there will be a little bar next to the location service “Hey Siri” button, just as you have been before with “Hey Siri”. If you’re connected to cellular data and that bar is covered with a screen, Siri will offer to save the wifi network.

6. Hide your location history

This is a new feature to control when the iPhone will show you your location history. This data can be accessed by advertisers, and Apple has the most privileged access to it for the most ads, and it uses its library of location data to improve its services. It also shared some location data with the FBI that may have helped with their efforts to find the killer of Jay-Z’s friend Sean Bell in 2006.

This doesn’t allow location services to be disabled completely – you still have to configure the phone to switch off wifi and cellular when not being used. You can manually delete your map cache (presumably to prevent that) but you can also turn it off entirely, and it isn’t visible to anyone else.

7. Remove device from cellular

This was already in the Apple Settings, but it’s now labeled alongside WiFi and Cellular. It’s there to assure everyone that this won’t be used to track you on the network.

8. Check the permissions you want

This was a common request before, but no longer. Have a look at the Apps pane of the Settings page. Most apps accept permission requests, and others don’t. Not all apps have to do certain things.

9. Block access to push notifications

We are going to keep rolling this out to help you keep on top of your iOS updates and make sure you don’t miss anything. It’s possible, of course, that your device will still be updated, but you can only update the latest version of the device. So go to Settings and find push notifications. Tap Find on iPhone, find iOS 12 on iPhone. Tap which updates are required. This will specify exactly which apps are updated and which are not. If an app you want to be updated never updates, you will see a big red X.

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